In Karachi’s Pashtun-populated neighbourhoods, workers of the Awami National Party for the past several days have been busy in organising meetings, carrying out motorcycle rallies, installing...
In Karachi’s Pashtun-populated neighbourhoods, workers of the Awami National Party (ANP) for the past several days have been busy in organising meetings, carrying out motorcycle rallies, installing party flags and banners, and inviting residents to join the party’s rally on July 21 in Landhi Industrial Area.
The ANP says its rally is part of the party’s nationwide protest against the price hike; however, political analysts believe that the main objective of the rally is to launch Aimal Wali Khan, a scion of Bacha Khan dynasty, at the national level by organising a rousing welcome for him in the city.
According to the party’s plan, Wali, who has recently been made the ANP Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa president, would address the party’s gathering at the Hospital Chowrangi in Landhi Industrial Area on Sunday evening.
“The party has made all mandatory arrangements to welcome Wali. Thousands of party supporters will go to receive Wali at the airport and bring him in a procession to the public gathering’s spot,” the ANP Sindh’s secretary general, Younas Bunariee, said.
“It will be a historic mammoth welcome.”
He said that rallies would emerge from five districts (except District Malir) of the city and converge at the Karachi airport to welcome Wali. District Malir’s workers have been directed to converge on the venue of the rally.
“The ANP has completed its organisational restructuring process in the recent past by holding intra-party polls from the union committee to the centre level, and now the party has been making itself active in the city by organising activities and rallies,” Bunariee told The News
Visit’s main purpose
Amid the ongoing preparations for a joint rally of opposition parties at Bagh-e-Jinnah on July 25, the ANP has separately made efforts to organise a successful show for a ‘heir to the party’s dynastic politics’ in the city.
On invitation cards and banners to invite people to attend the July 21 rally, the ANP termed Wali ‘a political heir of Wali Bagh’, an ancestral residence of the Bacha Khan family in Charsadda. Wali is the son of ANP Central President Asfandyar Wali Khan and son-in-law of the party's Sindh president, Shahi Syed. He represents the fourth generation of Bacha Khan dynasty.
Political analysts who have been observing the ANP’s politics closely said that inviting Wali to Karachi to attend the rally was part of the party’s efforts to portray him as a leader of national stature.
“He has been acknowledged in KP’s political circles, but for recognition at the national level, attending political activities in Karachi is very important,” said Hassan Khan, an Islamabad-based political analyst who hosts a Pashto talk show.
He said that the ANP was curious to seek media attention for its young leader and it was the reason that they had sent Wali to Karachi as it was the hub of media outlets' headquarters and also because a significant Pashtun population resided in the city.
Bunariee said that the ANP was making preparation for both the rallies simultaneously. “As a key component of opposition, the ANP will also fully participate in the July 25 rally at Bagh-e-Jinnah.”
He, along with Pakistan Peoples Party Karachi President Saeed Ghani and the leaders of other opposition parties, including the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, visited Bagh-e-Jinnah on Thursday to inspect the site.
He said that Wali had emerged as a popular leader in the recent years, especially among the youth and even in dynastic politics, he rose from the party’s district and provincial offices to the provincial headship through intra-party polls.